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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

The end of me, myself, I?

Since the 1980s we have become an increasingly individualistic society, obsessed with a culture of celebrity, focussing on and rewarding those best at self-promotion, best at becoming famous.

The corona pandemic has shone a blinding light on those who are vital to us both individually and collectively. Those people now identified as ‘key-workers’. Important not because of what they look like or what they say but the vital role they play in our fundamental wellbeing and survival.

This has been brought sharply into focus by the contrast between the bad behaviour exhibited by those who put themselves first without thought for others such as panic buying stock-pilers and house party goers, and the heroically selfless behaviour of doctors, nurses and other health and care workers.

When this latest challenge to humanity is over will we have a stronger sense of we? Of community? Will we refocus on what really matters, caring rather than self-promoting?

We are currently showing increasing signs of understanding that we are in this together. An increasing awareness of the importance and strength of communal activity and mutual support, looking out for each other.

Will this continue or shall we slide back into a world made up of competing individuals where a few of us float to the top and many more of us sink to the bottom? A world where what is bad in our lives is always somebody else’s fault.

In my more optimistic moments, I feel that we will emerge as a more caring society with a strong sense of community, at other times I find it harder to be convinced.

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